With the exception of one quarter, the Great Bend High School boys’ basketball team played nearly even with Dodge City on Friday night at Panther Fieldhouse.
An 18-5 second quarter proved too much to overcome for the Panthers as the Red Demons win the Western Athletic Conference game 60-44.
“Our kids played hard,” GBHS head coach Chris Battin said. “We fought hard. We just have to find a way to make stops when we need them, get crucial baskets when we need them. I thought we came out strong in the second half, and we made those baskets we needed to cut the lead to seven, but then they went on a 10-2 run.
“We’ve just got to get the bleeding stopped, and make sure we value possessions.”
The Panthers started strong, leading 7-2 with two minutes remaining in the first quarter.
Great Bend’s Kody Crosby got things started with a pull-up jumper on the baseline, followed by a transition basket from Nick Warren after a half-court feed from Bryce Beck.
Dillon Reiser rattled in a 3-pointer to cap the Panthers’ hot start.
Then Dodge City found its stride.
Thanks to a pair of 3-pointers from Jackson Oldham, the Demons turned things around in a hurry, leading 12-9 at the end of the quarter.
After a pair of free throws from Crosby in the second quarter, it was all Dodge City.
In the 6:32 remaining in the first half, Great Bend found itself under a mountain of points, trailing 30-14 at halftime after a last-second 3 from Reiser.
In the third quarter, the Panthers started digging themselves out.
Beck got things started with a layup before Austin Weiser made 1 of 2 free throws for the Demons.
Reiser hit a couple treys, Beck drove through traffic for a basket and Crosby, who scored 11 points in the game, made a 3-pointer.
Reiser finished with five 3-pointers in the game, scoring a game-high 15 points.
“He hit some big shots and knocked them down,” Battin said. “We got it to him early, starting in the first quarter, and it worked. He was feeling it. We’ve just got to keep knocking down shots.”
After a pair of points from Dodge City, Great Bend had cut the lead to 34-27 with 4:39 remaining in the third quarter.
Dodge City ended the third quarter with a 10-3 run, cancelling the momentum Great Bend had obtained.
Coming out in the fourth quarter, Great Bend got a bucket from Crosby and a three-point play from Beck to cut into the Dodge City lead.
Julian Sands got a layup and Oldham hit a 3-pointer for the Demons, again canceling the damage Great Bend did to the lead.
The Panthers just couldn’t cut into the lead down the stretch as Dodge City held on to win.
Prior to the game, the 2014 Winter Homecoming King and Queen were selected. Keaton Elliott was selected King, and Miranda Hejny was honored as Queen.
HIGH SCHOOL BASKETBALL
Western Athletic Conference
At Great Bend
Dodge City 60, Great Bend 44
DODGE CITY (4-3, 1-1)
Jullian Sands 5 2-2 13, Eric Reid 2 0-0 4, Dayton McGroanty 1 0-0 2, Bryce Unruh 2 0-0 4, Austin Weiser 2 4-6 9, Jackson Oldham 2 0-0 6, Caden Walters 2 1-4 6, Jack Larson 3 0-0 6, Noah Williams 3 2-2 8, Tayton Cunningham 1 0-0 2. Totals 23 9-14 60.
GREAT BEND (1-7, 0-2)
Trey Ibarra 1 0-0 3, Kody Crosby 4 2-2 11, Bryce Beck 3 3-5 9, Dillon Reiser 5 0-0 15, Wyatt Bryant 0 2-2 2, Nick Warren 1 2-2 4. Totals 14 9-11 44.
Dodge City 12 18 16 14 — 60
Great Bend 9 5 16 14 — 44
Three-point goals — Dodge City 5 (Oldham 2, Sands, Weiser, Walters); Great Bend 7 (Reiser 5, Ibarra, Crosby).